I’m not big on regrets. I was raised by an optimist who always looked forward and a pessimist who let regret overpower his life. I know which one I choose to pattern myself after. Most of the things I’ve done in my life that I might have wished I hadn’t done while I was in them, when I look back on them, I see that those very things were what shaped me the strongest.
However, in the spirit of this exercise I went through my rather short list of things that I might wish I hadn’t done and narrowed it down to one.
I wish, when my very first “real” boyfriend decided to break up with me, that I had simply stuck it out in New Orleans, either finding another job in another place or keeping the same job and just letting him leave. I wish I had not made the rash decision to just drop everything and move back to Atlanta in emotional defeat.
This was pretty much the turning point of my whole life. If I hadn’t been back in Atlanta, I wouldn’t have been available to my friend with the circus husband. If I hadn’t carried her down to Venice, Florida to work for 6 weeks, I wouldn’t have met my first husband, and so it goes. So, yeah, sometimes I wish I had been braver.
Of course, I have no idea what might have happened in my alternate future (maybe I need to watch the movie “Sliding Doors” again). Things could have been great, horrible or mediocre. That’s the beauty of life–you can’t know what’s going to happen. And just because you make a “retreat” now and then doesn’t mean you give up.
Besides, I love telling my circus stories, so perhaps it was all worth it just for that!